Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pharma 2020: The Vision~Which Path Will You Take?

Read the entire 52 page report here (pdf)
By PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Demand for effective medicines is rising, as the population ages, new medical needs emerge and the disease burden of the developing world increasingly resembles that of the developed world. The E7 countries – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey are also becoming much more prosperous, with real gross domestic product (GDP) projected to triple over the next 13 years.
By 2020, the E7 could account for as much as one-fifth of global sales.
Yet the biopharmaceutical sector (Pharma) will find it hard to capitalize on these opportunities unless it can change the way in which it functions.
Its core problem is lack of productivity in the lab. Several external factors have arguably exacerbated the industry’s difficulties, but the inescapable truth is that it now spends far more on research and development (R&D) and produces far fewer new molecules than it did 20 years ago.
The shortage of good medicines in the pipeline underlies many of the other challenges Pharma faces, including its increasing expenditure on sales and marketing, deteriorating financial performance and damaged reputation.
At the start of the decade, many people thought that science would come to the industry’s rescue and that molecular genetics would reveal numerous new biological targets, but the human genome has proved even more complex than anyone first envisaged.
It is no longer the speed at which scientific knowledge is advancing so much as it is the healthcare agenda that is dictating how Pharma evolves.
The first part of our report highlights a number of issues that will have a major bearing on the industry over the next 13 years. The second part covers the changes we believe will best help pharmaceutical companies:
~operate in this new milieu
~realise the potential the future holds; and
~enhance the value they provide shareholders and society alike.

Healthy habits and fab jabs!
The vaccines sector is growing rapidly, then; there are now 245 pure vaccines and 11 combination vaccines in clinical development and some industry experts estimate
that the market could be worth as much as $42 billion by 2015. Five major players –

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Merck
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • Wyeth
  • Novartis (via its acquisition of Chiron)
– have traditionally dominated the field, but a number of smaller pharmaceutical companies have also entered the fray. Moreover, the range of indications they are researching is surprisingly varied. It includes vaccines for cocaine addiction, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, psoriasis, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and nicotine withdrawal.
But oncology is by far the most significant new therapeutic area; according to IMS, there are 90 therapeutic (as distinct from prophylactic) vaccines for cancer in the pipeline, and more than two-thirds of them are in late-stage development.
However, conventional vaccines are very different from other therapies in several respects. They usually require very large safety and efficacy trials using healthy volunteers; long-term surveillance to ensure the persistence of the antibodies they induce; and strict control of live materials in the manufacturing process (although new technologies are emerging, which should help to stabilise production).
More importantly still, any therapy aimed at the healthy carries a higher risk than one that treats the sick. This is not an insuperable obstacle, but it does suggest that Pharma may have to assume some
sort of underwriting role. It could, for example, guarantee to cover the medical costs of any patient
unfortunate enough to develop a disease against which he or she has been inoculated, where the patient has shown signs of a positive immune response after vaccination and the normal period of immunity still applies, in much the same way that insurance companies provide cover against accidents and thefts.

"The bottom line:
Unless Pharma improves its
reputation, its political, commercial
and clinical credibility will be
eroded, with serious implications
for its future success."

You think?!?!?! Let's HOPE?!?!?
And what's with calling vaccinations "Fab Jabs"?
They're acting as if it's CHIC to get a vaccination!
Anyway, now we know where 'they' plan on going in the future.
It's like a road map to the insane asylum....egads.